(a) For purposes of this subdivision, the terms defined in this paragraph have the meanings given them.
(1) "Large employer" means an enterprise whose annual gross volume of sales made or business done is not less than $625,000 (exclusive of excise taxes at the retail level that are separately stated) and covered by the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, sections 177.21 to 177.35.
(2) "Small employer" means an enterprise whose annual gross volume of sales made or business done is less than $625,000 (exclusive of excise taxes at the retail level that are separately stated) and covered by the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, sections 177.21 to 177.35.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in sections 177.21 to 177.35, every large employer must pay each employee wages at a rate of at least $5.15 an hour beginning September 1, 1997, and at a rate of at least $6.15 an hour beginning August 1, 2005. Every small employer must pay each employee at a rate of at least $4.90 an hour beginning January 1, 1998, and at a rate of at least $5.25 an hour beginning August 1, 2005.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), during the first 90 consecutive days of employment, an employer may pay an employee under the age of 20 years a wage of $4.90 an hour. No employer may take any action to displace any employee, including a partial displacement through a reduction in hours, wages, or employment benefits, in order to hire an employee at the wage authorized in this paragraph.
No employer may directly or indirectly credit, apply, or utilize gratuities towards payment of the minimum wage set by this section or federal law.
For purposes of this chapter, any gratuity received by an employee or deposited in or about a place of business for personal services rendered by an employee is the sole property of the employee. No employer may require an employee to contribute or share a gratuity received by the employee with the employer or other employees or to contribute any or all of the gratuity to a fund or pool operated for the benefit of the employer or employees. This section does not prevent an employee from voluntarily and individually sharing gratuities with other employees. The agreement to share gratuities must be made by the employees free of any employer participation. The commissioner may require the employer to pay restitution in the amount of the gratuities diverted. If the records maintained by the employer do not provide sufficient information to determine the exact amount of gratuities diverted, the commissioner may make a determination of gratuities diverted based on available evidence and mediate a settlement with the employer.
Deductions, direct or indirect, from wages or gratuities not authorized by this subdivision may only be taken as authorized by sections 177.28, subdivision 3, 181.06, and 181.79. Deductions, direct or indirect, for up to the full cost of the uniform or equipment as listed below, may not exceed $50. No deductions, direct or indirect, may be made for the items listed below which when subtracted from wages would reduce the wages below the minimum wage:
(1) purchased or rented uniforms or specially designed clothing required by the employer, by the nature of the employment, or by statute as a condition of employment, which is not generally appropriate for use except in that employment;
(2) purchased or rented equipment used in employment, except tools of a trade, a motor vehicle, or any other equipment which may be used outside the employment;
(3) consumable supplies required in the course of that employment;
(4) travel expenses in the course of employment except those incurred in traveling to and from the employee's residence and place of employment.
An employer, at the termination of an employee's employment, must reimburse the full amount deducted, directly or indirectly, for any of the items listed in subdivision 4. When reimbursement is made, the employer may require the employee to surrender any existing items for which the employer provided reimbursement.